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How the fentanyl crisis at the Mexico border affects Central Texas

Congress Synthetic Opioids
Posted at 5:09 PM, Jun 03, 2021
and last updated 2021-06-03 19:47:53-04

WACO, TX — The fentanyl crisis at the Texas/Mexico border continues as just this year an 800% increase in seizures occurred in the first four months of 2021 than the last four years combined.

This may be a crisis increasing a few hundred miles away but that doesn't mean it can't make its way to us, here in Central Texas.

"We're right between Austin and Dallas so that just makes us a melting pot of all kinds of stuff," Waco PD PIO Officer Garen Bynum said.

I-35 is a drug trafficking corridor that runs right through Waco, so it's easy for drugs to come from Mexico. Regarding fentanyl, there is no crisis here yet but that doesn't mean Waco PD isn't on the lookout.

"We are encountering it and it's usually in small amounts anywhere from 1 to 5 cases a year," Officer Bynum said.

Governor Abbott recently visited the border to see how officials and officers are handling the situation.

"The Texas Department of Public Safety has seized more fentanyl that is needed to kill every man, woman and child who lives in the state of New York," Governor Abbott said.

Just this year 137 grams have been seized, 52 grams were seized last year but in 2017, 2018 and 2019 there were no fentanyl seizures. A dangerous drug, no doubt can harm even those trying to help with the situation.

"There's cases across the country where officers have actually died from exposures from fentanyl," Officer Bynum said.

Waco PD officers are equipped with Narcan, a nose spray to help those who may be experiencing an overdose.

"It's very quick to apply and it's something that counteracts whatever narcotic is going on," Officer Bynum said.

There are only a few cases in Waco per year, but that could increase if the situation at the border grows.